Turkey is making all efforts to draw more Chinese tourists as it is trying to develop new markets, the country's minister of culture and tourism said on Wednesday.
Based on what it has experienced over the years, Turkey is trying to diversify the sources of foreign arrivals, with emphasis given in particular to Asian countries like China, Japan, South Korea and India, said Mehmet Nuri Ersoy.
Turkey's tourism industry is rebounding after suffering from a spate of terror attacks and chilling relations with Germany, Russia and others in the past years.
Speaking to a Chinese press delegation on a four-day visit to Istanbul, Ersoy said he was expecting the Chinese arrivals, which numbered 250,000 during the first eight months, to grow further to 450,000 at the end of this year.
He said Turkey is taking a raft of measures to tap the potential of the huge Chinese market, including mulling the possibility of allowing Chinese nationals to work as tour guides in Turkey to supplement their Turkish counterparts who are in short supply, and make Chinese travel in Turkey easier.
The efforts include setting up Chinese-language signboards, opening more Chinese restaurants and even Chinese food streets if possible, establishing an office to handle problems faced by Chinese visitors, and encouraging more flights to Turkey from China and other countries.
The Turkish ministry is set to unveil many megaprojects from the New Year of 2019, which the minister believes shall appeal to Chinese investors.
Mevlut Uysal, mayor of Istanbul, hosted a dinner for the Chinese journalists and bloggers and voiced hope for a lasting and vibrant relationship with China through cultural exchanges.
Cui Wei, the Chinese consul general in Istanbul who joined the dinner, spoke of tourism's significance in promoting Chinese-Turkish ties and deepening exchanges and contacts between the peoples.
Referring to the fact that Chinese arrivals in Turkey grew by 91 percent during the first seven months of this year, Cui was hopeful of a bright future in bilateral cooperation on tourism.